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Get ready: Hurricane Florence knocking on east coast’s door
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Update: Governor Deal has issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in GA, following the 11 a.m. update on Hurricane Florence. Deal acted on a recommendation from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security Agency officials, a press release from Deal's office said. The declaration serves to suspend federal rules for commercial vehicles to deliver essential supplies to areas in need.

See the announcement here:

Hurricane Florence is on the east coast’s doorstep, and emergency officials are urging preparedness ahead of the storm’s potential landfall. Both Liberty and Long county officials encourage preparations ahead of time.

Today, the National Hurricane Center forecasted a landfall near the southern North Carolina coast, but much of the southeast remains under the storm’s cone of uncertainty. The final forecast, however, remains uncertain. The potential track of the storm could change, causing significant impacts to the area.

The United States Department of Defense’s latest release concerning Hurricane Florence said that the governors of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia have declared states of emergency.

South Carolina Governor has rescinded the evacuation orders for Beaufort, Jasper and Colleton counties, that were set to begin Sept. 11 at noon, he said in a press conference Tuesday morning. North Carolina has followed suit, with evacuations for Hatteras Island and Dare County on Monday and Tuesday, North Carolina governor Ray Cooper said. South Carolina Governor has rescinded the evacuation orders for Beaufort, Jasper and Colleton counties, that were set to begin Sept. 11 at noon, he said in a press conference Tuesday morning.

With the onset of winds and rain only a few days away, emergency officials said, prepare homes, businesses and families for the storm’s landfall.

Locally, Liberty County Emergency Management Agency director Larry Logan said that although Florence looks like it will track north of Liberty County, it’s imperative that people continue to receive updates.

“People should continue to monitor the storm,” Logan said. “Don’t take your eyes off of it. Make sure all hurricane preparedness plans are checked and updated.”

Things to do ahead of the storm include filling up gas tanks, Logan said, and keeping them full. This prevents last minute push for supplies, when it’s likely that gas stations will not receive their deliveries during the storm.

It’s also important to have supplies and a hurricane kit, Logan continued. Supplies should include things like bottled water, batteries, flashlights, first aid kits, and a radio.

“It’s important to have that weather radio,” he said. “It can provide crucial information during the storm that may not be relayed elsewhere.” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is one outlet that provides continuous updates before and during a hurricane.

Long County EMA director Edward Brewer said he’s been monitoring the storm since last week using the National Weather Service’s tools.

“I do track the storms behind Florence too,” he said. “I watch everything. It’s nice to have knowledge on what’s going on concerning safety.”

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Brewer will meet with department heads of Long County, including the Board of Commissioners, to discuss storm preparations. Brewer said the plan is to prepare as if the storm will hit the area directly, even though it’s forecasting otherwise. Between 72-96 hours from landfall, Brewer said he will brief officials on preparations and the county’s plans.

Both Brewer and Logan urge residents to stay alert, and listen to the information being distributed.

“People need to pay attention to the weather, the TV and the internet,” Brewer said.

“There are a lot of things we can be doing right now,” Logan said. “Stay informed and stay vigilant so you can make timely decisions.

The Department of Public Health maintains a hurricane registry list, which is maintained by county health departments of those who require outside help in case of evacuations. Register by calling 1-833-CHD-REGISTER and follow the prompts. The hurricane registry list shuts down 72 hours prior to arrival of tropical storm force winds, according to the DPH website.

“The preparation stage can go on and on,” Logan said. “Once we take care of ourselves, we take care of our neighbors. Check on them and make sure they have what they need.”

“The number one thing in this situation is to have a plan,” Brewer added. “Be ready to do what you need to do when the time comes.”

For updates concerning Hurricane Florence, visit or follow either Liberty County or Long County EMA.

The Courier will continue to update as information comes in.

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